The Good Wife
Proverbs 31: A good woman is hard to find, and worth more than diamonds.
The final portion of Proverbs is called the “Hymn to a Good Wife.” Apparently, it comes from the mother of someone called King Lemuel. His identity is another of those minor mysteries. Some people think that Solomon is actually speaking of himself and the words of wisdom come from Bathsheba. However, that appears to only be based on a desire to keep this “all in the family.” Others say that the final chapter of Proverbs is from the same fellow who gave us the second to the last chapter, good old Agur Ben Yakeh — another person we know nothing about. Again, this is just stuff that has no major significance but is interesting to think about. I can’t help but smile when I realize that the much quoted tribute to a good wife was probably written by a woman! Still, it is nice to see such positive words about women who love and serve their family; women who make a difference in this world for their loved ones and for God. After all, if not for this passage, what would preachers use for a text on Mother’s Day? (I’m kidding, I’m kidding!)
Take Away: If you’ve found a “good woman” treat her right and thank God for her!
Love and marriage
Proverbs 18: Find a good spouse, you find a good life — and even more: the favor of God!
Solomon was either the world’s greatest expert on women or else he was the world’s greatest dunce! He married hundreds of women and then tells us that having a good wife promises a man a good life and the blessings of God. Seriously, I know that his marriages were nothing like the marriages of my culture. For him, as Head of State, marriage was part of sealing a treaty between one nation and another. Since Solomon’s influence spread throughout the known world there were lots of treaties to be sealed! With that in mind I’ll cut him some slack on this one. Another thing that brings a smile is that he tells the other side of the story in the next chapter. If finding a good spouse equals having a good life, finding a nagging one, he says, is like having a leaky faucet in the house: drip, drip, drip. Apparently, some of his “treaty wives” weren’t all that much of a blessing! When I put these two proverbs together I see what a powerful influence husbands and wives have on one another. We can become a constant irritation, making the other miserable or we can be a source of joy and blessing. It’s reasonable that every husband and wife take stock once in a while to be sure that their spouse views them as evidence of the favor of God on his or her life.
Take Away: Be a blessing and not a constant “drip, drip, drip” to the person you love the most!